The Talmud Relates

(A warning to us who keep the Torah)

 

Once the wicked Roman government issued a decree (of Emperor Hadrian) forbidding the Jews to study and practice the Torah. Pappus ben Judah came by and, upon finding Rabbi Akiva publicly holding sessions in which he occupied himself with Torah, Pappus asked him: “Akiva, are you not afraid of the government?”


Rabbi Akiva replied: “You, Pappus, who are said to be wise, are in fact a fool. I can explain what I am doing by means of a parable: A fox was walking on a river bank and, seeing fishes hastening here and there, asked them, ‘From whom are you fleeing?’ They replied, ‘From the nets and traps set for us by men.’ So the fox said to them, ‘How would you like to come up on dry land, so that you and I may live together the way my ancestors lived with yours?’


They replied, ‘You — the one they call the cleverest of animals — are in fact a fool. If we are fearful in the place where we can stay alive, how much more fearful should we be in a place where we are sure to die!’


“So it is with us. If we are fearful when we sit and study Torah, of which it is written, ‘For that is thy life and the length of thy days’ (Deut. 30:20), how much more fearful ought we to be should we cease the study of words of Torah!” (see b. Berakhot 61b with Eyn Yaakov)


Taken from https://stream.org/ancient-rabbi-brings-urgent-warning-christian-leaders-today/
 

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© 2014  Tim Czapiewski